Tuesday, November 17, 2009

But…that’s what it’s for.

Sunny's watching a TV show on FitTV about a couple of overweight teenage twin girls trying to lose weight.

The word's 'self esteem' keep popping up. The twins are talking about how they have low self esteem because they're overweight, as are the twins' personal trainer, nutritionist, etc, etc. They are saying this as though it's a bad thing

Why have we got this into our collective heads that low self esteem is always a bad thing and high self esteem is always a good thing?

This idea is the reason why we have so many selfish douchebags in our society…because we're so focused on making sure everyone has high self esteem that we have a whole generation of people with an overblown sense of entitlement who feel just great about themselves no matter what they do or how they act.

If you're a hundred pounds overweight because you eat way too much and never exercise, you're not supposed to feel good about yourself. You're supposed to feel like shit. If you're a hundred pounds overweight and feel just great about yourself…where's the motivation to get off your ass, take responsibility for your problems and get into shape?

Here's the thing. If you pick up something that's too hot, it burns your hand and the pain makes you drop it. As unpleasant as pain is, we need it because it stops us from seriously injuring ourselves.

That's what things like low self esteem and guilt are for. When you look in the mirror and see you're a hundred pounds overweight, you're supposed to feel bad about yourself. There's nothing admirable or praise worthy in letting yourself get seriously out of shape. It's when you get off your ass and get in shape and look in the mirror a few months later and see how all your hard work has paid off that you get to feel good about yourself.

Am I completely wrong in feeling like you should actually achieve something or do something worthwhile before you feel good about yourself?

Now, before anyone starts with angry comments, I'm writing this post as an overweight guy who's lifestyle and eating habits gave him diabetes, high blood pressure and clothes in the XXL range. I look in the mirror and *I* feel bad about myself…but that's the whole damn point. If I felt great about myself I wouldn't have radically changed the way I eat and made a conscious effort to get in shape.

1 comment:

Evan 08 said...

Since you threw guilt into the mix, you could also take this post to a sociological level. Self-esteem and guilt serve more than a psychological role. They also help people fall in line with social expectations, like preventing theft, murder incest and so forth.

And then we could go on for days about how predatory-types gain perverse joy from manipulating people's guilt and self esteem.

But you're absolutely right. People need to learn how to lose. They need to learn that feeling bad can motivate positive actions. We, as a society, are a bunch of marshmallow-soft, victim-mentality, pussies. We need to grow a pair and get over ourselves.